Blender vs. Food Processor: Here’s How You Decide
A motor and a rotating knife. That’s how we’d vaguely describe a food processor or a blender, but what’s really the difference? And which one do you need?
Both are appliances that help take the workload off your shoulders in the kitchen. While they share the task of breaking solid food into smaller pieces or liquids, each excels in specific culinary functions that the other can’t handle.
We know the problem. Kitchens aren’t large stadiums. Your counter can’t accommodate all your kitchen utensils, tools, and electric appliances at the same time. So you better choose wisely, and that’s what we’re here to help you do.
What’s a Food Processor?
A food processor is that multi-functioning tool you see in quick recipes cooking videos where the cook dumps all the ingredients in it, pulse a few times, then ta-da! The meal is ready.
Basically, it’s a powerhouse that can do the heavy work of a chef’s knife along with additional tasks like whisking, pureeing, and kneading.
Its primary difference from a blender is that it can go through all these tasks with little to no liquid at all. That means it can take hard ingredients that are devoid of water and break them down like a champ.
Structurally, a processor is an electric appliance that has a broad flat bowl with a feed tube at the top and removable blades at the bottom. It comes with a wide range of attachments to whip through different jobs.
Depending on the model, these attachments can be dough hooks, slicing blades, grating blades, potato rasps, whisk paddles, or mills.
The mechanism by which a food processor cuts through food depends mainly on the sharpness of the blades. That’s why it usually comes with a razor-sharp blade and a motor that isn’t as tough as that of a blender.
However, the blades are larger and sharper than those of a blender and are often placed at two different heights. The upper one is responsible for cutting through sharp food while the lower one scrapes the ingredients from the bowl’s bottom and walls.
Compared to a blender, a food processor is pricier and takes more space with all the attachments that come abroad. It’s also trickier to set up and clean. Sometimes you’ll just find it easier to grab a knife and get the job done rather than put its pieces together.
On the other hand, it opens the door for more baking and cooking recipes, does far more jobs than a blender, and lets you control the coarseness and size of the pieces you’re chopping.
Do You Need a Food Processor?
A food processor will be your smart choice if you’re an enthusiastic cook who needs a device that can chop, mix, dice, slice, blend, and knead in record time.
Don’t go for it if you’re mostly going to deal with liquid food, as that’s not a processor’s specialty. Sure, you can prepare a soup in a food processor. However, you’ll have to make it in many phases as its bowl is smaller than that of a blender, and it can’t be overfilled, or it’ll spill.
Slicing is the area where it shines because that’s just a thing you can’t ask a blender to do whatever the model is. It can slice potatoes for home-made chips or cut your favorite onion rings.
What’s more, it’ll help you blend your pesto and snacks bars, knead your pizza or biscuits dough, and mix your salad, pesto sauce, or salsa.
What’s a Blender?
A blender consists of a motor, a cone-shaped beaker, and an unremovable blade at the bottom. This is the electric appliance you use to mix, emulsify, and homogenize food ingredients.
Unlike a food processor, to mash your ingredients in a blender, you need to add a certain amount of liquid or use liquid-rich vegetables like tomatoes. For example, it can blend boiled carrots easily, but no way in hell can it cut through hard carrots without breaking down.
The thing is, although blenders use more powerful motors than those of processors, their blades aren’t really this sharp. Actually, they’re blunter than what you’d think. The blending process depends more on the speed of rotations rather than the sharpness of the blades interfering with food.
Usually, they don’t come with many accessories, but some high-end models do offer additional blades, extra cups, or storage lids. Other models come with cups that can be converted into traveling bottles so that you can take your drink on the go.
If you choose to go for a blender, you’ll sacrifice all the extra bells and whistles a food processor offers. However, you’ll get a more compact device that won’t take much space and can make liquid blends at a more affordable price.
Do You Need a Blender?
If you’re more of a smoothie person rather than an eager chef, you’ll like to add a blender to your kitchen arsenal. Apart from juices and milkshakes, you can use it to create a perfect bearnaise sauce or mayonnaise.
While blenders can’t chop hard legumes, they can chop ice. Preparing your favorite ice mocha will be a breeze. On top of that, you can use it to grind nuts and veggies if you add an amount of liquid. The result won’t be as smooth as that of a processor, but it still can get the job done.
So, Which One to Choose?
After all is said and done, the final decision is solely yours. Think about what you’re going to use this appliance for and base your decision upon that.
However, if you need a heavy-duty appliance for every-day cutting and chopping tasks, a food processor will be your happy choice. It’ll also give you more space to come up with ideas for your next recipe. So, have you made up your mind yet?